LAHORE - The Lahore High Court Thursday ordered to seal two sugar mills owned by some close relatives of Sharif family , on appeals challenging stay orders which barred their shifting to new locations in southern Punjab.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah passed the order with directions to district & sessions judges of Muzaffargarh and Rahim Yar Khan to seal Haseeb Waqas Sugar Mills and Chaudary Sugar Mills.

Ittefaq Sugar Mills and others had challenged decision of a single bench of the LHC which declared illegal relocation of sugar mills to the new districts of southern Punjab. The single bench announced its verdict last year in October on petition moved by PTI leader and owner of JDW Sugar Mills, Jahangir Khan Tareen, and others.

The division bench passed an interim order yesterday and sought compliance report from the judges concerned on the next hearing, March 28.

Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, the counsel for Tareen’s JDW Sugar Mills, argued during the hearing that the three sugar mills had completed their shifting to the southern Punjab in violation of the law as well as the court orders.

He told the bench that Chaudhry Sugar Mills spent Rs600 million on shifting and completed it in violation of the stay order issued by the court. He substantiated his arguments with bank documents and photographs which showed the process of shifting of the mills.

Aitzaz also contended that environmental laws were also not considered by the government over the matter of mills’ shifting. The relevant notification of Punjab government was also based on mala fide intention, he said.

The counsel of Haseeb Waqas Sugar Mills and Chaudhry Sugar Mills had earlier argued that permission for shifting sugar mills was not required under the law introduced by the provincial government in 2015.